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SWB Yankees clinch IL North crown

08/31/2012 12:30 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
In their final “home” game of the season, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees became champions.

The Triple-A Yankees clinched the International League North Division title on Thursday night, defeating the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5-0 in front of 9,208 fans at Frontier Field in their adopted hometown of Rochester, N.Y.

A quartet of Baby Bombers – Eduardo Nunez, Ronnier Mustelier, Austin Romine, and Cole Garner – all went deep to lead the offense, and former Mets and Orioles hurler John Maine allowed just three hits over seven innings in picking up his eighth win of the season for SWB. Cory Wade followed with a perfect eighth, and Ryota Igarashi fanned a pair of IronPigs in a perfect ninth to close out the game and clinch the crown for the Yankees.

As the champions of the IL North Division, the Yankees will face the IL’s Wild Card winner in the first round of the Governor’s Cup playoffs. Heading into Friday, Pawtucket leads Lehigh Valley by three games in the Wild Card race, but the Yankees can still have a strong influence on which team they see in the postseason because they close out the regular season this weekend with a four-game set at Pawtucket.

Regardless of the opponent, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will open the 2012 Governors' Cup Playoffs on the road at the Wild Card winner, with Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-five series on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and Thursday, Sept. 6. They will then return to Rochester for Game 3 on Friday, Sept. 7, with Games 4 and 5 if necessary to take place on Sept. 8 and 9.

Should the Yankees advance to the Governors' Cup Championship Round, they will host Games 1 and 2 against the winner of the Charlotte/Indianapolis series on Tuesday, Sept. 11th and Wednesday, Sept. 12th, with Games 3-5 if necessary to be played Sept. 13-15 on the road.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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